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Media hype over Russia’s alleged cyber plot no reason to reshuffle top brass, says Kremlin

Earlier, the United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands and the United States accused Russia of attempted series of hacker attacks

MOSCOW, October 8. /TASS/. The Kremlin does not believe that the media buzz on Russia’s alleged role in the recently reported cyber attacks on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are grounds for reshuffling the country’s top brass, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"Certainly, information of this quality cannot be any reason for this," Peskov said, when asked about potential plans to reshuffle the Defense Ministry or the General Staff following Dutch claims that staff members of the Main Directorate of the Russian General Staff, known as the GRU, were involved in the “cyber attacks” on the world’s chemical weapons watchdog.

According to Peskov, media reports on this incident contain unspecified information without giving detailed evidence in this case. "We neither know the arguments, nor the particular aspects, nor the evidence, that’s why we prefer not to comment in this case," he noted.

Russia is ready to study the evidence related to the cyber attack incidents provided it comes from the Netherlands through official sources, and not from the mass media, the Kremlin spokesman emphasized.

Peskov remarked that Russia did not regard western media reports about such an “attack” as sufficient proof.

"No, this does not constitute evidence. Established and functioning channels exist between the corresponding agencies, within the framework of the mechanism for providing legal assistance and so forth. Documents, evidence and official information are transmitted via these channels. We are ready to consider it. But we have no intention of discussing such topics through the mass media," Peskov stressed.

Earlier, the United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands and the United States accused Russia’s GRU officers of an attempted string of ‘hacker attacks’, among the alleged targets were the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and linked these attacks to the Salisbury incident. UK’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jeremy Hunt said that London would discuss with its allies further sanctions against Russia in response to the actions he describes as violation of international norms. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied any involvement in any cyber attacks habitually ascribed to Moscow by Western countries.